A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Review: "Heaven is for Real"

I am ashamed to admit that I am not an avid book reader. As a matter of fact, outside of read-a -loud stories for my kids and the occasional homeschooling help book, I don’t get the chance to sit down and read anything for myself. However, I do love to roam bookstores. On occasion, I run a cross a book that really seems interesting. This past week I saw the book “Heaven is for Real” on the shelf. I have heard of this book and have read a few reviews of it. I cannot say that I wasn’t a tad skeptical as I stood there and read the description on the back. I decided to give it a shot. I am so glad I did!

This is a description of the book:

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.

Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "reaaally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.

Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.”

That’s enough to get you kind of excited right? Especially as a believer!

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was how Todd Burpo (Coltons father) was able to compare so much scripture to the things Colton describes.

I could not put this book down. I sat down every moment I could to catch the next glimpse. The descriptions of this child were so simple, yet so astounding! They stood out so much to me that the night I finished this book, I could not fall asleep. I continued to imagine what this little boy saw. The little kids with small wings and the adults like Pop with really big wings. Once I fell asleep I dreamed of these descriptions: Jesus’ “pretty eyes”, Gabriel next to the throne, my grandparents in place of Pop, Colton’s Great-Grandfather. I am not saying I had a ‘Heaven’experience.

It’s like the night before a big vacation to Disney World as a kid. You just can’t fall asleep because all you can picture are Mickey Mouse reaching out his arms to hug you and walking through the castle, and which roller coaster you want to ride first. You are so excited about what you are about to see that your mind simply does not allow those thoughts to rest. That’s what I felt after this book. This was a truly outlook changing experience.

John 20:29 says “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” It is in experiences, like Colton’s, that Jesus’ reminds us as believers what we have waiting for us! That all the riches in this earthly world cannot compare to what we have in store for us in heaven. Though we have not seen the Kingdom of Heaven, it is real!

It is also to show those who don’t believe what they could have!

If you have not yet ventured into this book for lack of belief in the trueness of it, I will tell you I understand. I felt the same way picking it up. After reading it and watching a few of their interviews, I have no doubt in my mind that this boy did experience something wonderful and I am so glad he was able to give us a glimpse of a place we all would love to sneak a peek of!

If you have already read this book, what was the one thing you took away from it?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 4: Bisquick Challenge

I would not change a thing about Wednesday's menu! Today was a great menu day. However, a few items could have been a bit easier using croissant dough. So if you are pinched for time, I suggest that. What I love about Bisquick is the ability to add anything you want in your dough!

Here is Thursdays menu and recipes:

Breakfast: Egg and Sausage Overnight Bake
Lunch: Sausage Balls
Dinner: Pizza
Desert: Cinnamon Churros

Yummy Day!
For the pizza we are using fresh basil, mozzarella, and pepperoni.

What kind of pizza are you making?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 3- Bisquick Week Challenge

Tomorrow marks the half way point for this weeks Bisquick Week Challenge and giveaways
How did you do today?

Here are some changes or thoughts for Tuesdays menu:

1. Crepes were pretty good, but very time consuming. I am happy with American pancakes :) However, I plan to use the orange glaze sauce again. Very Yummy.

2. In the Sloppy Joe Pie, I added an extra 1 1/2 Tbls of ketchup, 1 1/2 Tbls of mustard and 1/4 cup brown sugar to the meat mix. This has been a favorite so far. It will be going in my recipes box!

3. It makes things easier just to separate the meat into 6 small loaves. The directions for forming a full loaf and cutting it into the 6 servings is a bit silly!
4. Raspberry bars were good. They were BETTER when added warm to a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

Here are Wednesdays menu and recipes. The directions for the biscuit bowls are below.


Breakfast: Egg, Sausage, and cheese Biscuit Bowls(with
hollandaise sauce) Lunch: Pizza Dogs
Dinner: Ham, Broccoli, and Cheese
Desert: French Apple Pie

Biscuit Bowls:
The hollandaise sauce is an optional thing for this, but it makes it 10 times better in my opinion. Here are 3 simple recipes for a hollandaise.

For the biscuit bowls: You can prepare these the night before you plan to use them.
You can use many different baking objects to create your bowl. For a more adult size, we used a small individual cake pan that I normally use for my kids personal birthday cake. You could use custard bowls or any small (oven safe) glass bowl. For a brunch you could even use a cupcake pan to make mini-cups. No matter what bowl you choose, you want to flip them upside down and grease the outside of the bowl well. Then set it on a cookie sheet.

*Follow directions for normal Bisquick biscuits.
*Roll out (1/2 inch thick), but do not cut out biscuits. Cut dough with enough space to cover your baking bowl.
* Lay your dough over the bowl. Be sure to cut around the bottom of the bowl so that the dough is NOT touching the cookie sheet.

*Watch the bowl carefully as it bakes. For cupcake pans, the bowl will only take 5-8 minutes to brown. For other bowls 8- 10 minutes. Once it has browned, it if finished.
*Let cool for about 2-3 minutes.

*Using hot pads, gently grab the bread bowl and pull up. Immediately set it on a cooling rack to cool.
*Then fill with all of your favorite breakfast goodies!

Day 3 Giveaway:
Betty Crocker Read Apron
Exciting news. NO ONE has entered the first 2 days of giveaways. This means the prizes are piling up! I will do a grand prize drawing on Friday for all the prizes that have not yet been won.

Here's how to win today:
1. Re-Post the giveaway on twitter. Leave a comment here letting me know that you did with your @name.
2. Follow The Chronicles of a Real World Homeschooling Mom blog. Leave a comment letting me know that you have.
3. Tell us 1 Bisquick recipe that your mother or grandmother used to use.
Doing all 3 will earn you 3 entries!!

Happy Bisquicking

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 2- Bisquick Week Challenge and Giveaway

Mondays challenge went well. I did a few things differently. I did not have custard bowls to make the bread bowls so I used banana bread pans, then we just shared them.I also seasoned and broiled the chicken instead of grilling.
What did you do different on today's menu?

Here is the menu for Day 2:


Breakfast: French Crepes Suzette
Lunch: Sloppy Joe Pie
Dinner: 30 Minute Mini-Meatloaf
Desert: Raspberry Bars

Day 2 Giveaway:
As of now there is no entries for the day 1 giveaway. If no one enters, Tuesdays winner will get both days prizes!!
Tuesdays winner will receive any 2 Bisquick products of your choice.
Here's how to enter:
1. Re-post this give away on twitter and leave me a comment stating that you did with your @name.
2. Follow Chronicles of a Real World Homeschooling Mom and leave a comment letting me know that you have done that.
3. What is your favorite way to use bisquick?


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 1, Giveaway 1- Bisquick Week Challenge

Here is Mondays menu and recipes.Click on the menu item to see the recipe. If its something additional I have added, it will be included in this post!

Do you have some interesting ways to spice up these recipes?

Breakfast: Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad Bowls
Dinner: Chicken and Dumplings
Desert: Banana Boston Cream Dessert

Sausage Gravy:
1 Lb Breakfast Sausage
1/3 C Flour
1 1/2-2 C Milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In Large skillet, cook sausage until no pink can be seen. Drain. Return sausage to skillet.
2. Sprinkle flour over sausage. Sprinkle a little at a time until you can see the meat consistency thickening. Stir well after each addition(you will not use the entire 1/3 cup).
3.Add Milk,
4. Turn the heat to Medium-Low and allow the mixture to thicken. (about 10 minutes). Stir often. If it becomes to thick add more milk.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour over Bisquick Biscuits.

Giveaway 1:The Betty Crocker Bisquick Cookbook
Here's what you can do to win:
1.Leave a comment and tell us one way to improve one of the recipes for today.
2. Re-post this giveaway on Twitter. Leave a comment letting me know that you did with your @name.
3. Become a follower on Chronicles of a Real World Homeschooling Mom and leave a comment letting me know that you did.
*All 3 posts can count for 3 entries

Happy Bisquicking!!

Bisquick Week Challenge Menu

So, Here it is! This will be our menu this week for The Bisquick Week Challenge. Every evening I will post the next days menu, along with the recipes. So, join in the fun. If you change the recipe or add something different please feel free to comment so that others might try it as well. Don't forget there will be giveaways all week. Check in and let us know how your challenge is going.

Breakfast: Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Lunch: Caesar Chicken Salad Bowls
Dinner: Chicken and Dumplings
Desert: Banana Boston Cream Dessert

Breakfast: French Crepes Suzette
Lunch: Sloppy Joe Pie
Dinner: 30 Minute Mini-Meatloaf
Desert: Raspberry Bars

Breakfast: Egg, Sausage, and cheese Biscuit Bowls(will hollandaise sauce)
Lunch: Pizza Dogs
Dinner: Ham, Broccoli, and Cheese Fold overs
Desert: French apple Pie


Breakfast: Egg and Sausage Overnight Bake
Lunch: Sausage Balls
Dinner: Pizza
Desert: Cinnamon Churros

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Chicken Fingers
Dinner: BBQ Cups
Desert: Monkey Bread

Ready, Set, Bisquick!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reading List

We have nearly completed our reading this for this school year, so it was time to make new ones. Making reading list can be a challenge for me. I want to make sure that my kids are reading books that can encourage their imagination as well as provide moral and character building.
With our reading lists, they must read ever book on the list, but are encouraged to read other things that interest them in between their assigned books.
We also offer rewards at different levels. I have found that by adding these rewards, the kids are excited to read and read more often just to finish. Their favorite is the 100 book level. 100 books(between the 2 older kids)= Chuck-e-Cheese.
We also do many family reading books. Books like The Giving Tree are great right before bed. Here are the list that we will be using next year.

Pre-K ( 20+ books)

  • Good Night Moon
  • Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel
  • Peter Rabbit
  • House at Pooh Corner
  • Velveteen Rabbit
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Caps for Sale
  • Make Way for Ducklings
  • Owl Moon
  • Harry the Dirty Dog
  • Where the Wild Things Are.
  • The Little Engine That Could.
  • Fairy tales and folk tales including: "Cinderella," "The Gingerbread Man," "Little Red Riding Hood," "The Three Little Pigs," "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," "Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Mother Goose nursery rhymes.

2nd Grade (27+ books )

  • The Boxcar Children(any) Gertrude Warner
  • All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Andy and the Lion by James Daugherty
  • Art Dog by Thacher Hurd
  • The Boston Coffee Party by Doreen Rappaport
  • The Bravest Cat by Laura Driscoll
  • Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express by Eleanor Coerr
  • Challenge at Second Base by Matt Christopher
  • The Crippled Lamb, Max Lucado
  • Dust for Dinner by Ann Turner
  • Franklin Wants a Pet by Paulette Bourgeois
  • George Washington's Mother by Jean Fritz
  • Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (Movie)
  • House Mouse, Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes
  • Jim Thorpe: Young Athlete by Laurence Santrey:
  • The Littles by John Lawrence Peterson (Movie)
  • The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift and LyndWard
  • Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
  • What’s Inside?: Insects by Angela Royston
  • Meanwhile by Jules Feiffer
  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • No Such Things by Bill Peet
  • Pebbles Pack Rat
  • Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig
  • The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • There’s Nothing to Do! by James Stevenson

4th Grade: ( 32+ books)

*Looking for Home - Book one *Whistle-stop West - Book two

*Prairie Homestead - Book three *Across the Border - Book four

What new books are you adding to your list this year??

Happy Reading!